Hamilton was the first to pay the price, as the British driver was docked all points from the Australian Grand Prix (which he finished in 4th place). Team's sporting director Dave Ryan was also suspended by McLaren's boss Martin Whitmarsh as a result of the scandal, with more actions to follow from the Woking-based team.
Also, considering the poor performances of the McLaren MP4-24 this season and the huge efforts made by Mercedes to keep pumping money into their F1 operations, the German manufacturer is ready to renegotiate their presence in the Great Circle. Although motorsport director Norbert Haug insisted Mercedes will not back down from their F1 programme, German broadcaster Sudwestrundfunk reported that Daimler scheduled a shareholder meeting on Wednesday this week.
“If you're asking me 'are we here for the next 10 years?' then everybody who is honest, and I am honest, cannot give you an answer about how the world, the car industry, the economical surroundings will develop. I hope it changes. It's not easy for anybody but I hope it changes,” admitted Haug himself in an interview for GP Week, while present in Malaysia last weekend.
This is the second big scandal that McLaren Mercedes are finding themselves in during the past 3 years. In 2007, the famous “spy-gate” (exchange of information between McLaren and Ferrari) resulted in the highest penalties for the Woking-based team in the history of the sport – the docking of all points in the constructors' standings and a $100 million fine.
Being involved in all these scandals is certainly not welcomed for Mercedes, especially since results also fail to appear. The German manufacturer last won a constructors title in F1 in 1998.
“Victories would be better than having discussions like these. But we are clearly unhappy with the situation, as it is right now,” added Haug.